A billionth. A millionth. A thousandth. Just a fraction of second. But it can last for weeks. Slowed down, replayed in my brain over and over. Whether it is early morning as the bright light peaks over the cliff, blinding the world in crystal water or sunset as the world turns orange. Outrageous forms of bending water and crystal orange light.
I’ve simplified my greatest joy and leisure fulfillment into fractions of a second. That’s all it takes. I do not require much more. If I can swim out into the Ocean and glide into a wave that is throwing out over top of itself and experience the inside for just a fraction of second, I am joyous and fulfilled. Anything else is just a bonus. If the tube ride lasts a bit longer because the conditions are perfect, well that’s just extra swell.
Conditions are rarely perfect. But if it’s hollow, I’m stoked. The messy, closed out days are still fun bodysurfing. Those fleeting moments on the inside of a wave. Over the course of a solid week of swell, the amount of time spent in the tube can almost be quantified. Let’s say tube rides average 1 second. Roughly 6 tubes per hour, averaging 3 hours per work day and 5 hours each on Saturday and Sunday. So with some poor math, we can say we spend 3+ minutes in the tube. All fractions of second adding up to much fun in the Ocean.
Time warp. The first hundred or so barrels of a waveriders life are over in a flash. But after dedication and plenty of solid womps, it all slows down. From seeing the bump outside, swimming hard to the spot, gliding in and watching the section ahead bend and throw and barrel. The sensation of speed dropping in, the feeling of weightlessness as the bottom drops out, the vision looking out, the force of the Ocean pounding… all experienced in a fraction of a second but lingering in thoughts and memories for a lifetime.